The Map

The maps accompanying each of Drayton's Songs are described at the beginning of his text as "lively delineating to thee, every Mountaine, Forrest, River, and Valley; expressing in their sundry postures; their loves, delights, and naturall situations." They depict landscapes inhabited by personifications of rivers, mountains, nearby islands, and the vast stretches of water surrounding them all. Drayton's Britain is a living entity, populated by fantastical creatures who vie for supremacy amid a vast and ancient land.

In creating the Google Maps mashup (see below), we have tried to emulate Drayton's efforts in bringing to life the region described in Song 1. Attached to each point is, in addition to the relevant line(s) from Song 1, a photograph that attempts in some way to capture the beauty and strangeness of the features highlighted in the poem, four hundred years after Drayton first recorded them in verse. They range from turbulent rivers to double-horned sheep, and offer a visual guide to the south-west of England today, combined with descriptions of the land and its features worded four centuries before. It also gives users the option of quickly finding Drayton's reference to that part of the region that most interests them - or indeed, where they currently live, or once did.

Map featuresd in Song 1 of Poly-Olbion